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Teamwork benefits in tertiary education: Student perceptions that lead to best practice assessment design

Arabella Volkov (School of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Michael Volkov (Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 13 April 2015

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5542

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the development of students’ skills in the context of team-based learning. Academics have heeded the call to incorporate team learning activities into the curricula, yet little is known of student perception of teamwork and whether they view it as beneficial to them and their future professional career. Further, this study presents an instructional framework to guide best practice in higher education practitioners with regard to the design of teamwork assessment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a qualitative approach utilising 190 students’ reflections to examine their perception of the benefits of teamwork and whether it will contribute to their future professional work.

Findings

Results indicate students perceive team-based assessment tasks require them to adopt a deep approach to learning together with a deep approach to study, as well as improving their skills in the areas of collaboration, team unity and cultural diversity. Further, the study identified a best practice approach that higher education practitioners should adopt in teamwork assessment design giving this study both national and international significance and aids fellow educators in their practices.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach, the results may lack generalisability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further.

Practical implications

The paper presents important implications for those involved in the development of assessment items where objectives include the development of team skills and quality learning outcomes. The findings are vital for unit and course planning and design generally, and assessment planning, design and processes, specifically, both nationally and internationally.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to study students’ perceptions of teamwork, whether they view it as beneficial to them and their future professional career, and presents a best practice approach for teamwork assessment design.

Keywords

Citation

Volkov, A. and Volkov, M. (2015), "Teamwork benefits in tertiary education: Student perceptions that lead to best practice assessment design", Education + Training, Vol. 57 No. 3, pp. 262-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-02-2013-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited